Termites are very industrious insects. They divide their tasks according to a caste system which nature has built for them. The way they produce is overlapping so they can take care of their young collectively. In order to take care of their offspring, termites need to feed on dead plant material which mostly comes from wood, soil, leaf litter and animal dung. Because of their feeding habits, 10% of the 4,000 estimated termite species are considered as pests and can cause severe structural damage to homes, buildings, plantations, crops and forests.
Termites live in colonies which numbers can reach up to several million individual termites. Each colony consists of the semi-mature young called nymphs, workers, soldiers and the reproductive insects of both genders, which can sometimes contain the queens that can lay numerous eggs. The colonies have a decentralized, self-organizing systems for their activities which are guided by a type of inherent intelligence, called swarm intelligence. Using this, they acquire food resources collectively and exploit the environments available to them, which they couldn’t do if each one decided to work on their own.
The Queen & King
The queen is a female termite that has already flown, learned how to mate and is now producing eggs. Consequently, any male termite that has also already flown, mated and is always in close proximity to a queen is called a king. Termites, on the other hand, are not monogamous creatures. There is no such thing as a monogamous royal pair. Research has shown that the nymphs are usually produced from several interchanging pairs of male and female reproductive termites. But, the same research also suggests that generally, there is only one male (king) that mates within a colony.
As their name implies, worker termites are the ones that search and forage for food, store them, take care of the nymphs, maintain their nest and defend the colony in some cases. Workers are the main caste in the colony responsible for the cellulose digestion in their food which they get from ingested wood.
Soldier termites are called as such because they are naturally built with anatomical armor and behavioral specializations that allow them to protect their colony against an attack. They are very strong and some types can even exude toxic liquids through a hole in their head or through a horn-like nozzle. On the other hand, jaws of soldiers are so big that they need the workers to feed them.
They are the semi-mature young that sometimes act as workers too in certain colonies that have no workers per se.
As you can see, termites are very industrious and productive insects that work together laboriously to protect their colony. They can grow in huge numbers within a short period and they have soldiers that protect the entire colony against any natural attack. This is why it is very important to immediately report such termite activities to professional exterminators. You shouldn’t handle them on your own. Termites, if not eliminated thoroughly can keep coming back and will keep destroying the foundation and structure of your home. Act now before it’s too late.
There are a wide variety of different species of termites on our planet and they all have one thing in common – they are destructive little beasts. In nature, this destruction plays an important role in the eternal life cycle, but in our cities and suburbs, these insects have no place. So how do you know if these little insects have taken up residence in your home and continued their devastation?
You should notice brown or black insects in large numbers that resemble ants but are larger. Some termite species have wings which help them get further from their nest in the search for something to destroy. If you are unsure whether you have termites or just a regular ant infestation, give a termite inspector a call.
One of these inspectors should be available from one of your local termite control suppliers. The inspectors know what they are looking for and will be able to determine what type of termites you have, the extent of the infestation, as well as provide you with a plan for ridding your home of the insects before they become a financial burden.
You should know that getting rid of termites is a complicated business and that you can’t really take care of the problem yourself. Everyday insecticides and ant killers may get rid of the termites that you can see, but not those living somewhere in your home. The eggs and larvae of the termites in a nest will also not be affected.
Termite control specialists will take care of all the insects, from egg to adult. However, you need to make sure that you understand the plan of action before they get started to avoid any misunderstandings later on. You and your family may be required to vacate the home for a few days so that fumigation can take place. The chemicals used to kill the termites can be dangerous to your health. This is however dependent on the extent of the infestation.
The termite control staff will also need to locate the source of the termites which is of course the nest that has been built somewhere inside your home. Unfortunately, locating and destroying the nest may necessitate the lifting of floor panels, looking inside wall spaces or getting into the ceiling.
While your termite busting team will endeavor to do as little damage as possible, it is inevitable that a mark will be left on the home. Look at this as a good time to get started on those renovations that you have been thinking about. The destruction left by the termites will also need to be removed. Any wood or other materials that the beasts have gotten their jaws into will be damaged to the extent that it could become a hazard in the home. Find out if your termite control specialists provide a service to remove all damaged materials from your home.
Once you are rid of the termites, it is important to keep them away. So make sure that you take the necessary measures so that you don’t have to go to great expense to repair damage a second time. You will want to make sure your home receives a regular termite inspection.